Kieren Fallon: veteran rider has secured one of racing's biggest rolesPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Guineas-winning rider to share Bin Suroor top role
THE renaissance of Kieren Fallon gathered pace on Sunday with the revelation the hero of Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas had been promoted to the role of Saeed Bin Suroor’s joint-stable jockey and handed the mount on Investec Derby second favourite True Story.
The trainer’s former outright number one Silvestre de Sousa, who partnered True Story to both his wins and in the interim landed the Dubai World Cup on stablemate African Story, will be watching not riding the exciting Godolphin colt when he goes on trial for Epsom in next week’s Betfred Dante Stakes.
Fallon, the 49-year-old former retained rider to Aidan O’Brien, Sir Michael Stoute and Sir Henry Cecil, was also on Sunday preferred to De Sousa on Bin Suroor’s Elite Gardens, a Royal Ascot contender following her debut success at Newmarket.
Bin Suroor described the six-time champion as a “world-class jockey” as he revealed his revised riding arrangements, which were made public one day on from Fallon’s 40-1 Guineas triumph on Night Of Thunder for Richard Hannon.
“It’s fantastic for me,” said Fallon. “They have a lot of very good horses, including a large number of two-year-olds. There’s so much racing now at the weekends with big races clashing that there will be plenty of good rides for both of us.
“Saeed has always been good with me and I’ve been lucky to ride good horses for Godolphin. They rescued me after my worst season in Britain last year and since then I’ve had a great time with them in Dubai, where Saeed was champion trainer.”
Asked about True Story, an 8-1 shot for Epsom, Fallon said: “He has excited me from the first day I rode him work. I was riding him before he went to Newmarket this spring and he was the one horse who really stood out. He then proved himself when he won the Feilden Stakes and he has come out of his race really well.”
It was only following their return from Dubai that Fallon was confirmed as second jockey to Bin Suroor, whose Godolphin colleague Charlie Appleby uses Mickael Barzalona as his main rider.
Bin Suroor suggested future riding plans will, in part, be determined by which of his stable jockeys teams up with the horses in morning work.
He said: “Kieren rode True Story work this morning and will ride him in the Dante. If all goes well at York he’ll ride him in the Derby.
“We have many horses for both Kieren and Silvestre to share and there are plenty of rides to go around.”